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EFF blasts Windows 10 upgrade efforts EFF

EFF blasts Windows 10 upgrade efforts

Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation blasted the aggressive upgrades pushed by Microsoft to get people on Windows 10. But now that the free upgrade offer is over, does it still matter?

For Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, Microsoft's push to get you upgraded to Windows 10 was hard to miss, maybe a little too hard. During the year-long free upgrade period, Microsoft was accused of making popups purposefully confusing for those who would have preferred to keep their current operating system, leading it to scale back some of its efforts.

Now, even though the offer is over and Microsoft has stopped its upgrade prompts, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a blistering statement saying that Microsoft went to far with its upgrade efforts, crossing the line by taking away "user choice and privacy" without clear consent:

Eventually, Microsoft started pushing Windows 10 via its Windows Update system. It started off by pre-selecting the download for users and downloading it on their machines. Not satisfied, the company eventually made Windows 10 a recommended update so users receiving critical security updates were now also downloading an entirely new operating system onto their machines without their knowledge. Microsoft even rolled in the Windows 10 ad as part of an Internet Explorer security patch. Suffice to say, this is not the standard when it comes to security updates, and isn’t how most users expect them to work. When installing security updates, users expect to patch their existing operating system, and not see an advertisement or find out that they have downloaded an entirely new operating system in the process.

Now that the upgrade offer is over, many of those complaints have been addressed already, and even before the offer ended, Microsoft was reigning in some of the more confusing prompts.

The EFF also said that Windows 10 goes too far by not allowing non-enterprise users to opt out completely of sending back telemetry data and by tying security updates to data sharing. Read the EFF's full statement here.

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